On Oct. 24 at a special meeting at the Millburn Municipal Building, the seven Mayors representing their communities signed an historic inter-local agreement for the development of the South Mountain Regional Detention Basin, a storage project to reduce water elevations during peak storms in the Rahway River Watershed.
The mayors of Millburn, Union, Springfield, Cranford, Kenilworth, Maplewood and Rahway and their governing boards approved the agreement and helped move the project to the implementation stage.
Millburn Mayor Sandra Haimoff, Union Mayor Joe Florio, Springfield Mayor Ziad Andrew Shehady, Maplewood Mayor Victor DeLuca ; Cranford Mayor David Robinson, Mayor Kathi Fiamingo and Mayor Rick Proctor joined together to work with the US Army Corps of Engineers and the State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to focus on the development of a dry dam in the South Mountain Reservation between Campbell’s Mill Pond and Diamond Hill Pond.
The Corps did hydrology assessments and determined, on a preliminary basis, that water elevations during peak storm conditions during 100 year storms would be almost three feet lower in Millburn, Union and Springfield and one and a half feet lower in Cranford and reduced elevations in Rahway.
The inter-local agreement will permit legal analysis and a work plan to be developed for the storage project. The project would be sited on property that sits on City of Orange property and the Mayors Council has begun meeting with the Mayor of Orange, Dwayne Warren and will soon meet with the City Of Orange City Council.
The storage project is one of several projects being evaluated to mitigate some of the worst case impacts of flooding such as what resulted from Irene. Estimates of over $75 million of damages included impacted downtown districts; flooded municipal and school facilities; and hundreds of families.